Growing frustrated with classroom chatter? It might be time to reevaluate your approach to classroom conversations.
A talkative class can be both a blessing and a curse. We all want engaged students, but if they’re more interested in their side conversations than your lesson, the class can quickly turn chaotic. Trying to teach over a talkative class isn’t just miserable; it’s a waste of time. When distracting classroom chatter becomes the norm instead of the exception, it might be time to re-evaluate how to deal with a talkative class.
1. Consider the “Whys”
2. Restart and redefine
3. Model and practice
We have so much to do each day that taking time to model/practice the behaviors we expect our students to demonstrate can feel like time we just don’t have. But remember, by modeling and practicing now, we’re hopefully not going to have to waste all that time correcting these behaviors later on.
Ask students to practice listening to directions silently with a silly activity like listening to a brain-teaser or drawing a picture based only on your verbal instructions. Have students model what active listening looks like during a group discussion. Reflect as a class on what each correct behavior looked like and why it was helpful. When students demonstrate appropriate behaviors, compliment them and thank them for following the classroom norms.
4. Reteach consistently as needed
5. Talk less
6. Make time for meaningful chatter
About the Author
Meghan is an Associate Editor at WeAreTeachers. She spent 18 years teaching English/Language Arts in the public school setting and holds a Master's Degree in Special Education.